I've been working on two graphic novel projects. The one that I've been thinking about since Freshman year, but is currently on hold, is set in India around the War of 1812 and based loosely (very loosely) on the Kalki Purana, a Hindu religious text.
The protagonist and love interest as youths.
The antagonist as a little girl and during the main storyline.
And the other one that I'm working harder on right now is set in the Aztec capital during the Spanish invasion by Cortes and the conquistadors around 1518-1522.
The protagonists are going to be twin girls. Typically when twins were born, the younger one was killed as twins were considered a health hazard for the parents. The twins' mother dies in childbirth and their father has the second twin spared after her death.
The twins' parents on their wedding night.
Their parents a little later on--the twins' birth and their father (waiting to hear about the birth and a little older).
A couple of developmental sketches of the twins themselves, but I don't know if they'll end up looking like this. Lots of different ages represented.
One of the twins wants to participate in politics and the other wants to participate in religion. The political twin has plans to marry a noble and the religious twin plans to be sacrificed as a human representative of the goddess she's a priestess to, Xochiquetzal, the goddess of music, poetry, and everything pleasant. She wants to be sacrificed to join her former companion, a boy who is sacrificed as the god Xochipilli.
This is a friend of the religious twin's--she also works as a priestess for Xochiquetzal. Xochiquetzal's priestesses act as consorts to victorious warriors and ball players, who were not allowed to be married due to their professions. They dyed their hair purple, wore yellow makeup, red mouth stain, and chewed gum. This girl's name is Nenextli, 'little doll'.
Here are some more harlots (as they were referred to by the Spanish).
The priestesses of Xochiquetzal were distinguishable from common prostitutes by the turquoise lip plug and ear plugs that they wore, a sign of a higher class citizen.
Some miscellaneous character sketches. A ballplayer, midwife, and Xochipilli's silhouette. To the right of them is a profile of Moctezuma/Montezuma's nephew who wants to take his place as ruler, Cacamatzin. Also, two young girls (I guess?), and one of Moctezuma/Montezuma's daughters that's given to Cortes as a gift.
I'm excited to keep working on the Aztec project right now. Right now the plan is to tell the story in three volumes, with volume I taking place during the year preceding the Spanish arrival in the Mexican capital city, volume II taking place during their stay and the imprisonment of Moctezuma, and volume III taking place during the siege and period following the Spanish conquest. My goal is to capture a feeling of the Spanish as invaders rather than discoverers, and to explore what it would be like to have your established life, with a charted past and supposedly foreseeable and planned future, destroyed and changed so drastically. I also want to try and make a culture and way of life that feels distant and esoteric to us as modern people feel more human and relate-able than we tend to think of it.